One of the most prestigious winemakers in the DO Ribera del Duero, Alejandro Fernández, died this Saturday at the age of 88. His departure leaves a void that is very difficult to replace in the group of viticulturists in Castilla y León with know-how in winemaking available to few. Everything he made and continued to make was a guaranteed success.
The founder of Pesquera back in 1975 leaves anecdotes that speak for themselves of the veneration that his wines have caused. The singer Julio Iglesias, a devotee of Alejandro, came to finance him, in exchange for bottles, the millionaire investment he needed in one of his projects.
But there is more. Authorities such as King Emeritus Juan Carlos I even skipped the protocol to greet Alejandro Fernández when he saw him from afar on an oenological appointment. So did the former president of the Government, José María Aznar, a front-line defender of the Ribera del Duero wines.
Alejandro Fernández has been talked about more in recent years due to his litigation with his ex-wife Emilia Rivera and three of his daughters Olga, Mari Cruz, and Lucía, than about his role as a winemaker, but the truth is that, for a large part of the Wine experts in Spain, Alejandro Fernández has always had the ‘know how’ of how to make good wine. And also his daughter Eva, the same one who accompanied him yesterday when he died in Santander. Eva was a winemaker at Bodegas Pesquera and was fired from the company.
Percentage ownership disputes are fine for winning or losing a lawsuit, but critics, almost unanimously, have always been in favor of this wine magician. With 49.7% of the company in his hands – plus the minimal participation of his daughter Eva – Alejandro always maintained that he had the right to recover part of his winery, his land, and his vines. While the long legal process is resolved or the parties reach an agreement, he remained true to his dream: to continue making wine. And in the midst of a family crisis, in May 2019 he presented a new wine that once again brought all the specialized press to his feet.